20 FAQs on import and export in the event of a no deal Brexit


*Due to ongoing negotiations between the UK and the EU on a free trade agreement, these arrangements are evolving. The guidance below reflected the UK government’s position during no deal preparations ahead of a 31 October exit date. We will update this once the new arrangements become clear.

‘**In particular, the situation around transitional simplified procedures and tariff rates has changed and we will seek to update this page once we have further clarity.

Imports and Exports

Importing and exporting goods/ impact on supply chains: Importing and exporting goods after a no deal exit will become significantly harder. Movements of goods between the UK and the EU become imports and exports, leading to customs compliance requirements. Tariffs may also be payable. Companies importing and exporting from the UK will need to obtain a European Union registration and identification (EORI) number, and those also importing and exporting from the EU will need an EU EORI number. There is a risk of border delays in a no deal scenario, particularly at Roll-On Roll-Off ports in the South East, and businesses may find that in the instance of disruption their goods may be delayed as essential products such as food a medicines are prioritised. Businesses should consider the impact of border delays on their operations and contractual commitments – including supply chains for spare parts and packaging.



Businesses will need to review their supply chains to understand the Brexit impacts. This includes obtaining visiblity of multi-tier supply cains, assessing the customs, VAT and regulatory requirements for cross border trade, and determining the operational impact on the business.

If there is no trade agreement between the UK and another country after Brexit, businesses will have to trade with that country under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. WTO rules state that the same trading terms must be applied to all WTO members, unless there is a trade agreement between 2 or more countries. Trade agreements that the UK is part of as an EU member state will no longer apply when the transition period ends. The UK government is working on Trade Continuity Agreements to replace EU trade agreements after Brexit.

Businesses should understand their role in the supply chain, considering the contractual terms of sale and the obligations you are prepared to take on when selecting an Incoterm. Ensure that you have a UK EORI number for importing to and exporting from the UK and if relevant an EU EORI number for importing to and exporting from the EU. Businesses will need to understand the customs compliance obligations associated with movements of goods. UK established businesses importing into the UK will be able to make use of Transitional Simplified Procedures. Busiensses should also quantify the additional tariff costs on cross border movements of goods.


  • Neil Ross

    Neil Ross

    Policy Manager | Digital Economy
    T 078 4276 5470

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imports and exports (pdf)


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